What Do Common Easement Terms Mean?

Legal jargon is often far more confusing than it needs to be. This terminology can be so nuanced and contextual that it can be nearly impossible to understand without the assistance of an experienced attorney. Frustratingly, a failure to understand legal jargon can get in the way of exercising your legal rights and options in an informed and proactive way. As a result, it’s important to speak with a lawyer, if you’re dealing with a complex legal issue – like an easement-related property right dispute – if you have questions about legal terms related to your situation. Asking questions now could save you time, money, and significant headaches down the road.  

As you gather your questions together in anticipation of speaking with an attorney, take a minute to review the basic definitions of easement-related terminology. Doing so may inspire additional questions designed to help you clarify your situation and your options moving forward.

Common Easement-Related Terminology

Affirmative Easement – An easement designed to allow others to use land owned by another.

Dominant Estate – Land or person benefitted by the easement itself.

Easement – A nonpossessory interest in property that the easement holder does not own – this legal tool allows the holder to use this property in a specific way.

Negative Easement – An easement that preserves the landowner’s rights in some way by limiting actions that can be taken on a neighboring property.

Prescriptive Easement – An easement acquired by continual use for a period of time provided for by state law; the easement holder does not require the permission of the land owner for this continued use of their property.

Private Easement – An existing easement that is transferred to another easement holder through a private sale.

Servient Estate – Land affected by the easement; not owned by the easement holder.

Utility Easement – An easement which allows a utility company or city to access privately owned land for the purpose of maintaining utility-related functions on that property.

Legal Assistance Is Available

Easements are a complex legal issue. Thankfully, you don’t have to navigate any easement issue alone. Working with a real estate attorney experienced in easement-related legal actions can help to ensure that you understand the complexities of your situation so that you can make an informed decision about how best to move forward. Consider scheduling a no-risk, no-obligation consultation with an experienced real estate attorney today. A consultation will allow you to ask any questions you may have and to clarify your legal situation. Too often, Americans fail to seek legal help unless they’re in immediate trouble. However, seeking legal guidance in a proactive way can help you to protect your interests before your situation becomes urgent. Contact an experienced attorney today; your future self will probably thank you for making that effort.